Most studies reporting pneumonia morbidity are restricted to hospitalized patients, although only a minority of pneumonia patients are admitted to hospital. To get a better understanding of the burden of disease in the general population, we conducted a population-based retrospective study to examine trends in pneumonia incidence in general practice, hospitalization, and mortality due to pneumonia in The Netherlands between 1997 and 2007. Between 2001/2002 and 2006/2007 there was an adjusted yearly increase of 12% in the clinical diagnosis of pneumonia in patients consulting general practitioners. Hospitalizations increased 5% per year between 1999/2000 and 2006/2007, while mortality annually decreased by 2% between 1997/1998 and 2006/2007. Our study suggests that the morbidity of pneumonia in the Dutch population increased considerably over this period, especially in primary-care settings, and that focusing only on hospitalization might underestimate the increasing public health burden of pneumonia.